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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive guide for the Milton enthusiast., 10 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This particular book has to be considered as one of the most thorough and comprehensive examinations of Milton in relation to his life, texts, and the political and religious background to the period. Specifically, the book is conveniently divided into useful subsections that deal with the key Miltonic themes. With a predominantly literary emphasis, texts such as Comus, Lycidas, Paradise Lost/Regained etc., are all examined as individual works but more importantly within the period as a whole, thus helping to establish a broader understanding of Milton himself. To be fully appreciated, a knowledge of Milton's core 'syllabus' is necessary and the book is pitched above GCSE and Alevel. However, Christopher Hill is one of THE foremost authorities on Milton, and thus this book is of considerable value.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Justifying the ways of God, 26 April 2006
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G. J. Weeks (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Christopher Hill is a man who writes with real understanding of 17th century England and the religious motivations in the conflict that devastated these countries at that time. Milton was a man at the centre of the English turmoil But he was no orthodox Puritan with his defence of divorce and polygamy and his attack on the Trinity. But as Hill writes, 'Milton was not just a fine writer. he is the greatest English revolutionary who is also a poet, he is the greatest English poet who is also a revolutionary. '

Milton was fortunate to survive the Restoration. He was the most prominent supporter of regicide not to lose his life. So he wrote his three great epics, not only, says Hill, 'to justify the ways of God to men' in Eden but also in the failure of the English revolution. Hill ,thinks Milton could not write these things in clear prose.

My only caveat on Hill is that he believes Calvinism means a rejection of human responsibility in the face of divine sovereignty.Iit does not but I have never found a non-Calvinist who appreciated the antinomy. I also would deny Calvinism means the elect are few for it usually has an optimistic eschatology. So i do not see Milton as the Arminian that Hill does. He has given us a fascinating book on a turbulent time.
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Milton and the English Revolution
Milton and the English Revolution by Christopher Hill (Hardcover - 3 Oct 1977)
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